James 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Controlling the Things We Say
3 My ·brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly [Luke 12:48]. 2 We all ·make many mistakes [L stumble in many ways]. If people ·never said anything wrong [L did not stumble in speech/teaching/word], they would be perfect and able to ·control their entire selves, too [L bridle their whole body also]. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we ·can control [guide; direct] their whole bodies. 4 Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by ·strong [fierce] winds. But a very small rudder ·controls [guides; steers] that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. 5 It is the same with the tongue. It is a small ·part [member] of the body, but it ·brags [boasts] about great things.
A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. 6 And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of ·evil [iniquity; unrighteousness] among ·the parts of our bodies [L our members]. The tongue ·spreads its evil through [pollutes; stains; corrupts] the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell [L Gehenna; C a valley outside of Jerusalem where in the OT period children were sacrificed to a pagan god; later used as a burning trash heap; a metaphor for hell], and it starts a fire that influences ·all of life [L the wheel of birth/life]. 7 [L For] People can tame every ·kind [species] of wild animal, bird, reptile, and ·fish [L sea creature], and they have tamed them, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is ·wild and evil [or a restless evil; or an uncontrollable evil] and full of deadly poison. 9 ·We use our tongues to [L With it we] ·praise [bless] our Lord and Father, but ·then [L with it] we curse people, whom God made ·like himself [L in his likeness; Gen. 1:27]. 10 Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My ·brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], this should not happen. 11 Do ·good [fresh; L sweet] and ·bad [stale; or salt; L bitter] water flow from the same [L opening of a] spring? 12 My ·brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! ·And a well full of salty water cannot give good water [L Neither can salt water make sweet].
13 Are there those among you who are truly wise and ·understanding [insightful; discerning]? Then they should show it by ·living right [their good life/conduct/lifestyle] and ·doing good things [their deeds/works] with a ·gentleness [humility; meekness; Matt. 5:5; 11:29; Gal. 6:1] that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter ·jealousy [or envy] and ·are selfish [have selfish ambition] in your hearts, do not ·brag [boast; Jer. 9:23–24]. Your ·bragging [boasting] is a lie ·that hides [that denies; L against] the truth [or Don’t cover up the truth with bragging or lying]. 15 That kind of “wisdom” does not come ·from God [L down from above; C that is, from heaven] but ·from the world [is earthly]. It is ·not spiritual [natural; “soulish”; C human life apart from God; 1 Cor. 2:14]; it is ·from the devil [demonic]. 16 Where ·jealousy [or envy] and ·selfishness [selfish ambition] are, there will be ·confusion [chaos; disorder] and every ·kind of evil [evil thing/practice]. 17 But the wisdom that comes from ·God [L above; 3:15] is first of all pure, then peaceful [peace-loving], gentle [patient; considerate], and ·easy to please [or willing to yield; or open to reason]. This wisdom is ·always ready to help those who are troubled and to do good for others [L full of mercy and good fruits]. It is ·always fair [impartial] and ·honest [sincere; unhypocritical]. 18 ·People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right living [or Peacemakers who sow with peace will harvest a crop of justice/righteousness; Gal. 5:22–23].
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